updated 08:40 pm EDT, Mon April 25, 2011
PSN outage blamed on Rebug PS3 mod
Sony's decision to shut off the PlayStation Network may have been due to a unique custom PS3 firmware mod, a tipster moderator from the PSX-Scene forums claimed Monday. The electronics giant was reportedly alarmed when a new custom firmware, Rebug, not only let gamers get on to PSN in spite of bans but on to its approved developer network. Reaching the green list let them commit "extreme piracy" since they could use fake credit card information to buy games without it ever being validated, the moderator said.
Shutting down the servers was necessary to prevent Rebug and mods like it from getting on PSN in the future, he aded. Sony's devnet servers have reportedly briefed developers that preventing the Rebug hack will require they use at least the 3.60 firmware update in developer form just to connect. Despite Sony's uncertainty about account data safety, no one's credit cards and other private data were affected, according to the tip.
Sony isn't expected to voluntarily confirm or deny whether Rebug is the cause of the issue. Sony has usually been willing to take extreme steps at each stage to curb piracy, however, including the removal of Linux support on the PS3 in the 3.21 firmware, a detection routine that can remotely steer PS3s in logins as of 3.56, and a scorched earth policy in its since-dropped lawsuit against George Hotz that tried to track anyone who had even visited his website in the event they might have used or contributed to his jailbreak.
The company has made little discrimination between dangerous jailbreaks such as Rebug and milder ones like that from Hotz, where he deliberately avoided measures that would have simplified piracy.